17th December 2015, 09:35 |
By Alex Davis
North East 4 v 10 Yorkshire
The North East hosted Yorkshire on a snow covered pitch in what proved to be an intense, low scoring game.
Both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball which resulted in a succession of scrums.
North East opened the scoring when some good quick handling enabled centre Jason Bass to put his winger Ievan Jones over in the left hand corner.
Yorkshire winger Jed Goddard thought he’d levelled the score with an almost identical play over on the left.
A move down the blind side gave him the space to acrobatically touchdown but an eagle-eyed official ruled that the winger had put a foot in touch on his way to the line and disallowed the try.
The score remained 4-0 at half-time but 10 minutes into the second half, the North East found themselves down to 12 men after Stephen Janny received a yellow card.
Goddard collected a kick on the left and sprinted up field beating two defenders before being caught by Janny but he was sent to the sin bin for holding the Yorkshire winger down for too long.
Yorkshire then drew level when hooker Will Jubb dummied left before scooting right and diving over near the posts.
Second row Dan Parker missed the seemingly simple conversion but luckily it wasn’t to prove costly.
With just minutes remaining Junior Ibrahim was halted just short of the North East line but from the play-the-ball Jubb reached out to claim his second try.
The kicking duties were handed to half-back Callum Smithson who converted to make it 10-4.
South East 32 v 34 South West
The Southern Universities produced an exciting contest at Maidenhead in a match of wildly swinging fortunes.
The South West kicked off the scoring with a scoot from dummy-half by hooker Tom Plance after Liam Rice-Wilson had gone close.
But the South East hit back when loose forward Malakhi Lloyd Jones barged his way over for a try which was converted by hooker Sam Druce.
The South West regained the lead when Plance took advantage of a quick play-the-ball from prop Callum Bradbury to dive over.
The South East looked to have bounced back when a clever grubber from full-back Joe Morgan was snapped up by the onrushing Simon Hrbek but he was deemed to have been offside and the try disallowed.
The South West went close to increasing their lead when second row James Mason kicked ahead for winger Conan Osbourne but a wicked bounce took the ball into touch before he could gather it.
Having withstood some heavy pressure the South East bounced back.
A cut out ball from Druce at dummy-half found Callum Whittcombe who hit a great line to slice through the defence on his way to the line.
The conversion put them 12-8 ahead but their lead proved to be short-lived as Luke Stephens burrowed his way over from short range for a try which Danny Fallon converted to put West ahead once more.
The South East regained the lead just before half-time when James Smith exploited some poor defence near the line to touchdown. Druce’s conversion put them 18-14 ahead at the break.
The South East began to take control early in the second half and increased their lead following a penalty near their opponents’ line.
Moving the ball smartly to the left, a long cut out pass from Kain Monics found Fraser Majori-Banks on the wing and, despite a fumble, he managed to touchdown.
Majori-Banks then added a second following a half break by Callum Whittcombe.
He took a neat offload from Whittcombe and fended off the West full-back before scoring.
The South West were facing a huge task to get back into the contest and it was made all the more difficult from the re-start.
Jamie Mackay caught the ball from the kick-off and waltzed through the South West defence, dummying to Whittcombe before touching down after his 90-metre run.
The conversion by Kain Monics made it 32-14.
However, the South West stuck to their task and following pressure on their opponents’ line they got their reward.
Brad Kishnebury came off the bench to cross following a penalty and the forward grabbed a second after the South West were caught out on the blind side and he squeezed in at the corner.
The South West now had momentum and when the South East failed to deal with a chip over the defence, Jamie Park gathered the ball and sprinted to the posts.
They scented victory and the crucial score came through James Mason. Following a penalty, Jarrod Sinn found the forward whose angled run enable him to cut through the South East defence and crash over to win an enthralling contest.
North West 0 v 32 Midlands
The Midlands ran out comfortable winners in a rain-soaked contest. Lewis Lord opened the scoring, running from dummy-half and fooling the defence before sliding over.
Matt Brewer added the conversion from the touchline to make it 6-0.
The North West were unlucky not to open their account when a kick to the corner bounced unfavourably for the onrushing winger Adam Lee.
The Midlands went close to increasing their lead when a long pass from Brewer was taken by Curtis Harris but defenders Ryan Ravenscroft and James Hill bundled him into touch.
However, they weren’t to be denied for much longer.
From a tap penalty, Jack Howlde stepped off his right foot to beat several defenders and dive over, Brewer again added the extras to make it 12-0 at half-time.
The second half started as the first had finished with the North West conceding a penalty on their own line.
The Midlands moved the ball smartly to the right where full- back Elliot Hall was able to dummy his way over.
They increased their lead when Ben Waud lost possession in a tackle but as the ball went backwards it fell into the hands of Joe Spencely who barged over and Brewer made it 28-0 with the conversion.
They rounded off in style with another fine touchdown.
From a scrum in their own 20 the ball was kicked wide to the left, bouncing perfectly for Guy James to gather and race upfield to score in the corner.